protect, despite a $16 trillion national debt, they want to make sure that the wealthiest people in this country don't pay a nickel more in taxes, and at the same time they want to make massive cuts in social security, medicare and medicaid. that is the reality. and i think the american people in poll after poll and in the elections have been very clear. recent "washington post" poll, 72% of the american people say that people making more than 250,000 a year should be paying more in taxes. people do not want to see social security and medicare cut. so the issue is that we have some right wing guys in the house who are adamant, in my view, about protecting the interests of the wealthy and cutting back on programs that are struggling, middle class should not lose. >> senator, what deal are you prepared to support? we talked about the $250,000 number. the president went up to 400,000 possibly. how high would you be willing to go? >> you've got to back up a little bit and understand that the middle class in america is disappearing. the wealthy are doing phenomenally well.